There are various types and brands of air filters on the market, ranging from paper, foam, cotton, to stainless steel. Usually, the life of the air filter is limited by the mileage of the vehicle, but there are also depending on the material of manufacture.
Before reaching the end of use, the air filter also requires regular maintenance so that its function remains optimal. There are various ways to treat the filter, such as using water, oil, detergent, and spraying it with air pressure. However, cleaning using high wind pressure should not be arbitrary.
Air filters may be sprayed with medium pressure air, especially stainless ones, while for moderately high pressure winds, they must be at a minimum distance of 30 cm from the filter surface.
Because the air filter is made of stainless steel which is woven (mesh) if it gets very high wind pressure below a distance of 30 cm at one point it can cause the position of the webbing to slide. This habit is often done, even though it is wrong.
Spraying the wind with high pressure and a very close distance can cause scratches, or shift the webbing. Although it doesn’t have much effect on engine performance, this damage can certainly cause the air filter’s service life to be shorter
Actually, said Teng Herry, the maintenance of stainless steel filters is very easy. Simply washed with clean water, no need to use a special liquid air filter cleaner. If there are stubborn dirt such as oil stains, adding dishwashing liquid and brushing with a soft toothbrush will suffice.
In addition to taking care of the air filter, you must also understand the signs that your car’s air filter must be replaced. Don’t let it be because you don’t know, then the problems that arise will be everywhere.
Here are the characteristics or signs it is time to replace the car air filter:
1. Car Mileage
How far the car has traveled, of course, is an indicator of the use of the air filter. The farther the distance that has been traveled, meaning that the air filter has worked harder to accommodate all the particles it filters.
Air filter manufacturers usually recommend replacing after 20,000 – 25,000 miles (32,186 – 40,233 km). However, to be on the safe side, it is recommended that the air filter be replaced after a distance of 10,000 – 15,000 miles (16,090 – 24,140 km).
Actually it also depends on how dirty the air is on the roads that are often passed, the instructions above are only suitable for vehicles in urban areas with relatively clean air. In a car that frequently travels on dusty roads, the air filter may have to be replaced after traveling a shorter distance.
For the time interval, it is better to replace the air filter once a year, because in a car that is used on a normal day-to-day basis, the mileage usually ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 km per year.
2. Reduced Acceleration and Power
If you feel the car’s power becomes sluggish when you want to accelerate, it could be a sign of a very dirty filter. You should immediately check your car’s air filter, check with a trusted technician, of course it’s better to find out the problem. If there are no problems with other components and the filter looks very dirty, we recommend replacing the filter with a new one.
3. Smoke Out of the Exhaust
Air filters that have expired and are very dirty, will make a lot of particles into the combustion chamber and cause incomplete combustion which is marked by the release of smoke from the exhaust, it can even be in the form of thick black smoke.
4. Wasteful Fuel Consumption
A dirty air filter causes less air intake to enter the combustion chamber, so combustion is not as complete as it should be. As a result, fuel consumption will be more wasteful.
5. Physical Condition of Filter
Check the condition of the filter regularly, if you get a filter that is damp or looks very black, even though all the previous characteristics have not been found, you should replace the filter. There is a possibility that it can cause serious problems with the machine.